These type of car seats are still very marmite and sometimes misunderstood, but there's no denying the good safety ratings that they achieve! We are reviewing the Cybex Pallas B-Fix from their Silver line that features an impact shield for Group 1 use, and the vehicle seat belt for 2 and 3.
Suitability 9-36kg (9 months - 12 years approx.)
Group Group 1/2/3 - R44/04
Fitting Latch-Connect and Vehicle Seat Belt
Colours Volcano Black, Dynamic Red, Steel Grey, Bay Blue
The Cybex Pallas B-Fix is different to other car seats in its Group 1,2,3 as it doesn't feature a harness! In place of the harness is an impact shield to secure the child from 9-18kg.Installing the seat uses the Latch-Connect System, which are soft latch points instead of solid ISOFIX arms. They still need connecting to the same ISOFIX points in your car, but they are on an adjustable piece of webbing with a clip on the end, which allows a lot of flexibility in different angled seats. Once connected and tightened with the strap at the left hand side, it is fitted to the car and you only need to secure the child with the impact shield or vehicle seat belt depending on age and weight.
The impact shield is designed to reduce the risk of neck injuries without confining the child. Rather than a harness holding the child's body firm and all strain being on their head and neck, the impact shield allows the child's body to curve naturally around the shield.
We have found that our smallest tester enjoyed having the impact shield to secure him and used it as a little table for his toys as well as a rest area for his arms and head when tired!
Another added safety feature for the seat is the integrated Linear Side-impact Protection System, which provides an additional layer of protection in the case of a side-impact, reducing the force of a collision by approximately 25%.Weighing only 5kg, the Pallas B-Fix is extremely lightweight and less than half the weight of other similar car seats available. Ideal if you are switching regularly between cars, for second cars including grandparents, or have to remove to store if only used occasionally.
Our 2 year old, 5 year old and 8 year old testers have found the seat supportive and comfortable. The fact that the base is lower than other car seats means that they could all easily climb in and out themselves.
To suit children from 9 months to 12 years old, there are 12 different height positions on the headrest, just squeeze the button at the back to adjust. It can be a problem for taller children within the 18kg limit of a harness to outgrow the height of the harness before the weight. This isn't a problem with this car seat though, as you can move to any of the headrest positions and still use the impact shield if they are under 18kg.
When used as a high back booster, the vehicle belt simply secures through the point at the headrest, over the child and into the buckle. There is plenty of room for even your older child to be kept comfortable.
The RRP of this seat is £119.95, which is a great price for a car seat that lasts so long anyway, but we have noticed that it is available from most retailers for less than the RRP!
In May of this year, the Pallas B-Fix was tested along with other car seats by ADAC. It was awarded a 2.4 Good rating, as well as being best in class!
Although the car seat is approved for use from 9kg, around 9 months old, we would always recommend keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible as it is much safer for them. We wouldn't advise facing forward before 15 months as a minimum. It is legal on the R44 regulation that this car is tested to though.
Rather than the standard recline on car seats for younger children, the Pallas B-Fix only allows a recline on the backrest, which enables it to fit to most vehicle seat angles. Some people may prefer having a proper recline for smaller babies and children to keep them comfortable in their seats.
The Cybex Pallas B-Fix is an easy to install car seat that will last your child a long time - right from 9-36kg!
Although some people may not like the idea of not having a harness and using the impact shield instead, it scores very well in the independent testing. It could also be the only option for parents of children who can escape their harness, as this is virtually impossible for them to get out of.
We wouldn't recommend you use this car seat from 9kg or as young as 9 months old as it is so much safer for them to be kept rear-facing for as long as possible. It would be the ideal seat to use if you wanted to use a forward facing seat with the impact shield as they got older and then as a high back booster.
We give the Cybex Pallas B-Fix 4 out of 5 stars